Responsible Fishing Ports Standard (RFPS)

Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, and the British Ports Association Fishing Ports Group (BPAFPG) are working together to develop a potential new certification programme for commercial fishing ports and auctions in order to improve transparency and raise standards in the seafood industry.

The Responsible Fishing Port Standard will provide assurance to seafood sellers and buyers that all certified or engaged fishing ports and auctions are acting in a responsible manner with the seafood landed and sold through the market. The standard is likely to cover a range of areas including structural integrity, working environment, hygiene levels, quality maintenance, traceability, fish grading compliance, waste management and recycling, and environmental controls.

The rationale behind the standard comes from an increasing need for assurances of transparency across the full seafood supply chain and the fishing port, and auctions were identified as an area that would benefit from guidance on industry accepted best practice. Over the past few months, Seafish and the BPAFPG have been speaking to a range of fishing ports, fishermen and the supply chain across the UK to canvass their views and discuss how the standard needs to be developed to provide benefits to all sectors. 

The standard will complement other standards recognising best practice within the industry including the Responsible Fishing Scheme, which has recently been redeveloped by Seafish to certify fishing vessels demonstrating best practise in catching methods and crew welfare.  It is hoped the Responsible Fishing Port Standard will bridge the perceived traceability gap between the fish being landed and processed, and boost the reputation of the sector.


Date Activity
January 2017 Technical Committee reviewed Standard (draft 2)
November 2016       Development audits undertaken to trial Standard
October 2016 Code of Practice (draft 2) and Standard (draft 1) reviewed by Technical Committee
September 2016 Code of Practice Developed - Draft 1, and Standard Developed - draft 1
July 2016    Technical Committee Review Code of Practice
March 2016  Core Modular Framework agreed
January 2016 Oversight Board established
August 2015 BPA Fishing Ports Group (BPAFPG) ratify initiaitve
June 2015 Scoping Study completed (3 month)
April 2015 Start of project

For further information, please contact:

Marcus Jacklin
Project Manager
Tel: 01472 252 340